Our Very Present Help

by Oct 22, 2021Article, Prayer Newsletter

Our Very Present Help

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1
We will be changing the clocks back again in a few weeks. The days are getting shorter and colder. The leaves are changing color. Soon the forecast may include the dreaded “S” word.

While Maryland doesn’t see much snowfall in November, I remember one early November storm back in the 1980s. I was a junior at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, I had seen many a snowstorm and driven in snow and ice. Some of my fellow students, however, had never seen snow before.

One fellow in particular had a hard time. The county had not yet plowed the main road, and he got stuck in the right lane with cars behind him. He responded by pushing the gas pedal to the floor. The speedometer must have read 60 but he wasn’t going anywhere.

Lord, when faced with difficult circumstances and stressful situations, let us lean on your everlasting arms rather than upon our own limited understanding. What a privilege it is, Lord to know that wherever we go and whatever we face, your Holy Spirit is there to comfort and to guide. Lead us onward through the storms.

As the smell of burning rubber fouled the air, I got out of my car and let him know that in order to extricate himself he would need to barely touch the gas while another student and I pushed. We pushed for ten minutes with no progress. I had gotten quite a few cars unstuck before and none was this difficult. Finally, I realized why we couldn’t free him. Spinning his wheels had allowed the back tire to connect with the ground just enough to burn off its last layer of rubber and it was flat.

In Matthew 14:22-34, we read about Peter walking on the water. He does well for a while, but then he starts to concentrate on the wind and the waves instead of Jesus, who is directly in front of him guiding the way, and he begins to sink. The very same thing that started to sink Peter got the novice driver stuck in the snow. Fear. Peter did not expect to walk on water that night, just as the driver did not expect to get stuck in the snow. They both panicked.

If we are not careful, we too can become overwhelmed with circumstances and forget that we need to turn first to the God who loves us and is in control of everything in the universe. As Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”